Kindling Words West rotates the guest speaker between our three strands (editor, author, illustrator) each year.

2023 is the year of the author strand, and we are excited to welcome long-time KWW alum, Christine Taylor Butler, as our guest speaker. Christine will offer workshops each evening after dinner, nourishing and nurturing the creative work that we immerse ourselves in all day.

Creativity and the Art of Self-Care in Children’s Literature.

Creativity in children’s literature is often stunted by the pressures of performing: for book sales, for awards nominations, for an audience that can be fickle. Lost in that mix is nurturing the spirit of the content creator. Let’s “retreat” from those pressures for a week and create “art” for it’s own sake. Maybe it’s time to dance like no one is looking.

Christine Taylor-Butler has authored more than ninety-five books for children, including Chelsea Clinton’s Save The . . . (animals) series, a short story “Retribution” in the upcoming anthology The Hitherto Secret Experiments of Marie Curie (Blackstone Publishing), and the Lost Tribes Series (Charlesbridge/Move Books).

By the way, back in the dark ages she graduated from MIT with degrees in both Civil Engineering and Art & Design. She uses the dark magic learned there to help get kids reading and interested in STEM and sci-fi.



In addition to her books, Christine has written a number of articles on the need for diversity in children’s publishing including “When Failure Is Not An Option,” (The Horn Book November/December 2021). She has spoken at the American Library Association, National Council of Teachers of English, International Literacy Association was well as numerous World Science Fiction Conventions, World Fantasy, Boskone and the Nebula awards.

She served as a judge for the Society of Midland Authors children’s nonfiction award, the inaugural Walter Dean Myers children’s literature award and PEN America’s Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Christine is past president of the Missouri Writers Guild, Emeritus Committee member of Kindling Words, and a Director At Large of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). In 2021, Christine was named Toastmaster for the World Fantasy Convention in Montreal, Canada. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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If you are an author or illustrator you must have at least one book published or under contract that meets ALL of these criteria. If you are an editor you must currently work for a publishing house that meets ALL of these criteria, or if you are currently an editor whose prior work history matches these criteria, you are also eligible (and please check all five boxes below).
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